Dr. Michael D. Anthony Installed as Prairie State College’s First Black President

Prairie State College held a formal investiture ceremony to install Dr. Michael D. Anthony as the 16th president, the first African American, and the youngest president in the college’s history. Dr. Anthony officially assumed the role of Prairie State College president on October 15, 2021. The ceremony was held Thursday, September 15, 2022, during the college’s homecoming week.

Before Prairie State College, Dr. Anthony was the inaugural Chief Diversity Officer at Oakton Community College and the inaugural Director of the Cultural Center at the University of Louisville, where he served in the Office of the Provost. Dr. Anthony served as the Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at Rochester Community and Technical College in Rochester, MN.

The ceremony included congratulatory remarks from Illinois State Senators Patrick J. Joyce, 40th District, and Anthony DeLuca, 80th District. Remarks were also provided by Prairie State College board members, faculty, and staff.

Dr. Tom Jackson, Jr., President of California Polytechnic University Humboldt, who mentored Dr. Anthony, said he was someone special and demonstrated outstanding leadership. Dr. Jackson says it’s the right time for Prairie State to be led by one of the nation’s best. “We have seen Michael’s charismatic personality, his commitment to students, his deliberate commitment to the academic mission, and we are seeing his compassion willing to help others,” says Dr. Jackson.

Dr. Anthony began with his remarks of gratitude about how special Prairie State College is to him. Dr. Anthony passionately thanked his family for their support and his commitment as president, including growing programs and increasing enrollment. “I commit to being the leader you hired me to be and to hold sacred the trust you put in me to be a good steward of our resources, including tax dollars, fundraising dollars, tuition and fees, and our most important resource, the employees and students,” says Dr. Anthony.

Dr. Anthony holds a doctorate in Educational Leadership and Organizational Development, a master’s of arts in Higher Education Administration from the University of Louisville, and a bachelor’s degree in Business Management with a concentration in Marketing from North Carolina State University. Dr. Anthony sits on the Board of Directors for New Star and the Prairie State College Foundation.

Dr. Anthony was selected as one of 26 leaders of the 2022-2023 Aspen New Presidents Fellowship. The program, supported by JP Morgan Chase, supports community college presidents in the early years of their tenure as they work to accomplish higher and equitable levels of student success.

For more information about Prairie State College, go to prairiestate.edu.

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